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Monday, January 10, 2011

... it's raining, it's pouring...

... and it's raining dogs and cats, folks... it's monsonic Italy, previously "O' paese do sole" (Transl. - Country of the Sun).

Nonetheless, surprisingly unaffected by heavy weather, yours truly (finally) found the energy needed to haul the heavy 301 Shindo combo, which remained sadly unused and mute on a shelf in the ex-home-music-room for (too) many months, now.

I closed the door to avoid finding Chicco on my path while handling about 50 kilos slate and related stuffs, splitted the Schick Haiku/Palladium 12 inches arm from the Lumiere DST and arm-base; wrapped that super-heavy bronze arm-pod with Fidelity Research B-60 V.T.A. arm-mount and then, always sweating and puffing, I cleverly did the three elevator-trips, up and down to the car-trunk and... voilà... in few minutes I was at my studio and in half an hour the EMT 930st and his seismic chassis were on a (heavy duty) shelf for some rest after about 8 months of support.

So what? (Re-)enter the old 301... hand-clapping...

To my surprise, after connecting 301's, the Hiraga-multiamped Gotorama was buzzing like a giant bee, sort-of... oh, ohhh?!?! Unfriendliness?!?!

Put away the XLO Signature Phono cable and the Peerless "20/20" 4685 MC transformer and decided to give a try to the Partridge 973B in all its unassuming ugliness.

The Schick's Eichmann RCA connectors to Partridge's and earth fork to Thomas' WE437A LCR... and voilà: again a deadly silence, no more buzzing... but... what about the sound?

Tried several discs, an handy Sidsel Endresen's on ECM, first, John Fahey's Fare Forward Voyagers on Takoma (amazingly beautiful music...) and then a batch of old blues: Son House 2-lps on Columbia (1965) with Cannet Heat's Al Wilson, Robert Pete Williams on Takoma and on Storyville, a magnificient recording made in Denmark in 1972... and Bukka White on Takoma and Skip James on Vanguard and more on Arhoolie's and Blue Goose's.

My aural memory already WELL knew what I was missing in these loooong months of self-inflicted analog cruelty... BUT, listening again to my Garrard/Shindo 301 in slate plinth with Schick and Lumiere, must admit it was such a truly heavy flash, almost a revelation, and a fix of huge size... the wave of pleasure the yesterday afternoon listening left to me is still definitely "here", a tsunami-like experience.

The Partridge 973B, an absolute winner, (still) cheaply available in UK (check eBay...), is worth a "zero" more price-tag: an incredibly wide and deep soundstage and a sincere and true musicality to match.

I know and I'm well aware the beauty of overall sound was, actually IS, a mix of several interactions, etc... blah, blah... not that shitty-looking 973B or cables or whatever, alone... nonetheless, the EMT's - used without its 155st R.I.A.A. box, like I did in the past months - also if honestly spinning and sounding, isn't - sound-wise - barely comparable to a properly maintained and finely tuned 301, period!

Garrard's sound is beefy, natural, effortless, detailed, unfatiguing and pretty right with ANY music - acoustic and electric, orchestral, jazz, folk... well, you got the idea... and, most important, virtually any and every disc sounds different from the previous and the next, as well... at least like EMT's always keeps its sonic foot-print, homogenizing ALL and every records to a... how can I say... a sort-of medium, yet high standard, "flatness".

I jumped on my Eames' chair at Robert Pete Williams' tweleve-strings acoustic guitar and throaty voice... it was "there"... simply unbelivable.

Few days ago, it was "only" a superbly moving blues record... again and again, like I well remembered when still in my home music-room, returned "that" sense of surprise and lysergic ability to follow several, layered different harmonies and sounds at the same time.

A four hours long musical orgasm, pals...

Feelin' groovy.

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